The Minute Book
Tuesday, 17 May 2016

The Canadian Force at the Front (1918)
Topic: CEF

The Canadian Force at the Front (1918)

Each Division contained 19,000 to 20,000 troops, and there were about 10,000 Corps troops, making about 90,000 men in the Corps.

Canada's Part in the Great War, 3rd Edition, Issued by the Information Branch, Department of External Affairs, Ottawa, May 1921

The distribution of the Canadian troops in France and Belgium on September 30, 1918, was as follows:—

The Canadian Army Corps, forming part of the British Army, consisted of four Divisions and Corps Troops.

Each Division consisted of three Infantry Brigades, each of which was made up of four Battalions of Infantry and one Trench Mortar Battery, and the following Divisional Troops:

  • Artillery—Two brigades, two medium and one heavy Trench Mortar Batteries, and a Divisional Ammunition Column;
  • One battalion of the Machine Gun Corps;
  • Engineers—three Engineer Battalions, one Pontoon Bridging Transport Unit, and one Divisional Employment Company;
  • Divisional Train of four Companies;
  • Medical Services—three field Ambulances, one Sanitary Section and one Mobile Veterinary Section;
  • Divisional Signals of four Sections, one at Divisional headquarters and one with each Brigade.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

The Corps Troops were as follows:—

Corps Artillery: Three Brigades of Garrison Artillery containing twelve Siege Batteries and two Heavy Batteries, one Anti-Aircraft Battery of five sections, three Brigades of Field Artillery, two medium and one heavy Trench Mortar Batteries, one Divisional Artillery Ammunition Column, and two Motor Machine Gun Brigades.

Corps Engineers: Pontoon Bridging Unit, five Army Troop Companies, two Tramway Companies, and Anti-Aircraft Searchlight Company and Corps Survey Section.

Corps Medical Services: One Field Ambulance, one Sanitary Section, the Dental Laboratory and the Veterinary Evacuating Station.

Corps Signalling Services: The Corps Signal Company, two Motor Aid Line Sections, four Cable Sections, four Brigade Signal Subsections and one C.D.A. Brigade Detachment.

Army Service Corps: Headquarters Mechanical Transport Column, seven Mechanical Transport Companies, one Divisional Artillery Mechanical Transport Detachment, one Artillery Brigade Park Section and one Divisional Train Detachment.

Ordnance Services: Three Ordnance Mobile Workshops.

Miscellaneous: Infantry School, Machine Gun School, Lewis Gun School, Signal School, Gas Services School, Instructors' Pool, Gymnastic Staff, Canadian Records List, Y.M.C.A. Services, Corps Military Police and two Railhead Army Post Offices. Labour Services—Labour Group Headquarters, four Labour Companies, a Pontoon Bridging Officers' Establishment and five Canadian Area Employment Companies.

Each Division contained 19,000 to 20,000 troops, and there were about 10,000 Corps troops, making about 90,000 men in the Corps.

The Canadian Cavalry Brigade formed part of the Third British Cavalry Division belonging to the Third Army and consisted of three Cavalry Regiments, a machine Gun Squadron, the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, a Signal Troop, a Field Ambulance and a Mobile Veterinary Section. There were about 3,000 men in the Brigade which was part of the Third Army.

The following Canadian Units, separate from the Canadian Corps, were attached to the five British Armies:—

First Army: Two Casualty Clearing Stations, one Sanitary Section, one Railhead Supply Detachment and two Battalions of Railway Troops.

Second Army: One Casualty Clearing Station, one Advanced Depot Medical Stores, two Battalions of Railway Troops, two Auxiliary Horse Transport Companies, one Field Butchery, two Depot Units of Supply, a Railhead Supply Detachment, and a Tunnelling Company.

Third Army: One Casualty Clearing Station, one Railhead Supply Detachment, three Battalions of Railway Troops and the Overseas Railway Construction Corps.

Fourth Army: One Medical Corps Mobile Laboratory, four Battalions of Railway Troops, one Light Railway Operating Company, and one Broad Gauge Operating Company.

Fifth Army: One Battalion of Railway Troops.

On the Line of Communications and attached to British General Headquarters were the following: Thirteen Depot Units of Supply, four Field bakeries, and two Field Butcheries, which were distributed at Boulogne, Calais, and Dieppe; six General Hospitals and six Stationary Hospitals, which were at eight different places; the General Base Depot, the Infantry Base Depot, the Machine Gun Base Depot, the Labour Pool, the Report Centre, the Command Pay Office, the Dental Store, two Field Auxiliary Post Offices, the base Post Office, one Veterinary Hospital, one Battalion of Railway Troops, one Wagon Erecting Company, and one Engine Crrew Company. The following troops of the Canadian Forestry Corps were distributed at eleven places in France: Sixty-three Forestry Companies, five District Workshops, one Construction Company, one Technical Warehouse, one Forestry Hospital, and two Detention Hospitals.

There were altogether about 160,000 Canadians serving in France on September 30, 1918.

The Canadian Army Corps was commanded by Lieut.-General Sir Arthur Currie, with the following divisional commanders: 1st Division, Maj.-Gen. A.C. MacDonell, 2nd Division, Maj.-Gen. Sir H.E. Burstall; 3rd Division Maj.-Gen. F.O.W. Loomis; 4th Division, Maj.-Gen. Sir D. Watson

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT

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